For Apple-branded TV, the price must be right

Apple needs to tread lightly if it wants to enter this new market.

The rumors about Apple’s own branded television set continue to abound, and while consumers are interested, they might not be once they see the price tag.

So says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster after conducted a survey of consumers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, which contains a decent cross-section of the rest of the country.

In the survey, 49% said they would be interested in buying a TV set if it was manufactured by Apple. This includes people who said they are in the market for a new TV, as well as those who said they are not.

In fact, 29% said they don’t see any need to buy a new TV right now, but if Apple released one they might change their minds.

However – here’s the kicker – when asked if they would be willing to spend $1500 or more on such a TV, only 12% said yes.

And the average price that consumers were willing to pay was just arond $530, which can’t even buy a decent iPad.

We all know that Apple likes its products to be more expensive than anything that anyone else offers, and that’s a very scary concept if you look at the TV market, where $1000 – $2000 for a high-end set is the norm.

However, as Munster notes, “While 12% seems small, it still moves the needle. If Apple gained a 10% share of the U.S. TV market in FY14, as opposed to our surveyed 12%, TV sales would still add 4% to our FY14 revenue estimates.”

Apple has managed to break into other highly competitive markets before and revolutionize them, so it’s certainly possible that it could do the same here.